A Media Resource Center for the Rio Olympics

On Thursday, June 30, a group of journalists met at a house in Botafogo in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro for a full day of training in the city’s access to information laws, followed by a debate on transparency in the context of the upcoming Olympics. “We wanted to do something before the Olympics on access to information, because so many people don’t know how the system works,” explained Mariana Simões, manager of Casa Pública.


Open Data Movement Reaches Turning Point

Only one-tenth of national data is really open and free, according to the third annual Open Data Barometer by the World Wide Web Foundation. “The open data movement is at a turning point,” the report finds. “If we allow this moment to slip away, however, open data could fade into a ghost town of abandoned pilots, outdated data portals, and unused apps.”


Global Press Freedom Plunges to 12-Year Low

Global press freedom declined to its lowest point in 12 years in 2015, as political, criminal, and terrorist forces sought to co-opt or silence the media in their broader struggle for power, according to Freedom of the Press 2016, Freedom House’s annual report on media freedom worldwide. Only 14 percent of the world’s population enjoys a free press—that is, where coverage of political news is robust, the safety of journalists is guaranteed, state intrusion in media affairs is minimal, and the press is not subject to onerous legal or economic pressures.


RSF’s Press Freedom Index: A Growing Paranoia of Journalism

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released its World Press Freedom Index, ranking 180 countries according to the level of freedom available to journalists. “It is unfortunately clear that many of the world’s leaders are developing a form of paranoia about legitimate journalism,” wrote RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire. The index showed a deep and disturbing decline in respect for press freedom, and a climate of fear and tension combined with increasing control over newsrooms by governments and private-sector interests.

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Against the Odds, Investigative Journalism Persists in Middle East

In the past year, a group of Arab journalists has been working secretly in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Algeria, and Yemen as part of a global network of investigative reporters mining the so called “Panama Papers.” They found that some Arab strongmen and their business partners are linked to offshore companies and bank accounts. What’s astonishing about this story is not that Arab dictators are going offshore to hide their wealth and evade sanctions. It’s that a community of Arab journalists is continuing to do investigative reporting in a region where there is increasingly little tolerance for accountability of any kind.

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Are Panama Papers Really a Campaign Against Privacy?

We do agree with Ramon Fonseca about one thing: that “Each person has a right to privacy, whether they are a king or a beggar.” But that’s where our commonality with co-founder of disgraced Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca ends. This scandal isn’t about privacy. If anything, it’s about the need for transparency about how the powerful wield their power.


Slovenia: How a Neo-Nazi Exposé Almost Landed a Journalist in Jail

It was February 2013 when the police knocked on the door of Anuska Delic’s mother. The two officers had arrived at the house in the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana at 8am to speak with her daughter concerning a criminal investigation. Delic, a journalist for the well-respected daily newspaper Delo, was being charged for revealing alleged connections between the ruling right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) and the controversial neo-Nazi movement Blood and Honour.


Propaganda & Media Freedom

We’re pleased to run this excerpt from the recent report, Propaganda and Freedom of the Media, produced by the Office of The Representative on Freedom of the Media at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). “These are trying times,” said the Representative, Dunja Mijatović, at the November 26 roll out of the report, during which she branded propaganda “an ugly scar on the face of modern journalism” and called on governments “to get out of the news business.”

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Why the Open Government Partnership Needs a Reboot

OGP needs a new organizational structure with new methods for evaluating national commitments. There aren’t enough support unit resources to manage the expansion. We have to rethink how we manage national commitments and how we evaluate what it means to be an open government. It’s just not right that countries can celebrate baby steps at OGP events while at the same time passing odious legislation, sidestepping OGP accomplishments, buckling to corruption, and cracking down on journalists.